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AP Computer Science Test Takers Up 8,000; Pass Rate Down 6.8%

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the everything-that-rises dept.

Education 119

theodp (442580) writes "Code.org reports that preliminary data on students who took the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Exam in 2014 show an increase of 8,276 students over 2013 and represent what the College Board called "the first real indication of progress in AP CS enrollment for women and underserved minorities in years." Girls made up 20% of the 39,393 total test takers, compared to 18.7% of the 31,117 test takers in 2013. Black or African American students saw their share increase by 0.19%, from 3.56% to 3.75% (low, but good enough to crush Twitter). Code.org credits the increased enrollment to its celebrity-studded CS promo film starring Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg ("I even made a personal bet (reflected in my contractual commitment to Code.org donors) that our video could help improve the seemingly immovable diversity numbers in computer science," Code.org founder Hadi Partovi notes). However, some of the increase is likely attributable to the other efforts of Code.org's donors. Microsoft ramped up its TEALS AP CS program in 2013-2014, and — more significantly — Google helped boost AP CS study not only through its CS4HS program, but also by funding the College Board's AP STEM Access program, which offered $5 million to schools and teachers to encourage minority and female students to enroll in AP STEM courses. This summer, explains the College Board, "All AP STEM teachers in the participating schools (not just the new AP STEM teachers), who increase diversity in their class, receive a [$100] DonorsChoose.org gift card for each student in the course who receives a 3, 4, or 5 on the AP Exam." The bad news for AP CS teachers anticipating Google "Excellence Funding" bounties (for increasing course enrollment and completion "by at least five underrepresented students") is that AP CS pass rates decreased to 60.8% in 2014 (from 67.6% in 2013), according to Total Registration. Using these figures and a back-of-the-envelope calculation, while enrollment saw a 26.6% increase over last year, the total number of students passing increased by 13.9%."

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Happy Saturday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539339)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Re:Happy Saturday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539409)

Speaking of Golden Girls...I peed on your mom last night.

Inconceivable! (4, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 5 months ago | (#47539353)

So they've found that encouraging students to take CS courses based on their skin color or genitals is less effective than encouraging students who have an interest or aptitude for the subject? Gee, I never would have guessed that result.

Guess what you cunts! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539403)

Whats the difference between a pizza and a jew? The pizza doesn't scream when you put it in the oven!

Re:Inconceivable! (-1, Flamebait)

greenwow (3635575) | about 5 months ago | (#47539425)

No, it is the Republicans that don't want the poor and minorities to be allowed to take the tests. The College Board is run by hard-core Republicans like David Coleman who is the person that created the Bush crime family's common core standards meant to destroy public education in the US. It is notable that children are able to fight back and hold their own against the Republicans.

Re:Inconceivable! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539563)

Democrats are the ones who run collage education for a very long time. And if anything, it proves the Republican ran college board to be right. Giving millions to people because of skin color/gender results in a lot of waist. Basically a 7% decrease in pass rate means a good portion of the money given for "diversity" was giving to students who could not or was not interested in a CS degree.

Just remember, Republicans started the charter schools who benefits many children with better education. While Democrats want to shut them down so that bad teachers can keep there jobs, and keep children stupid so they can grow up to be mindless democrats.

Re:Inconceivable! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539619)

> results in a lot of waist

You Republicans with your minorities are fat stereotype is so hateful. It is your kind that doesn't allow them to afford better quality foods. I know you hate us, but being poor and working two jobs almost guarantees you're going to be overweight. Also, disrupting your sleep cycles can really cause you to lose weight. You Republicans are assholes for not acknowledging what your kind is responsible for.

Re:Inconceivable! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539781)

Giving millions to people because of skin color/gender results in a lot of waist.

Wat

Re:Inconceivable! (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 5 months ago | (#47539845)

Yes. Because the Democratic Party is in charge of colleges...

Also, you misspelled "collage" and "waist". You used the wrong tense in "was not". Oh... the phrase "schools who benefits many children" just gives me hives. You used the wrong "there".

You also failed math. There were 8000 new students out of approximately 40,000 students. Even with a 7% decrease in pass rate, there are LOT more students passing....

You also failed at reading comprehension, since this is AP level classes... which are taken in High School, and grant college credits, and hence has nothing to do with affirmative action in colleges. Your whole rant is ... Derptastic.

Did you go to a charter school?

Man I hope that was written to be Ironic and Clever, but I just can't TELL any more...

Re:Inconceivable! (1)

gordo3000 (785698) | about 5 months ago | (#47541295)

actually, my first thought when I saw the stats was "isn't that about a 30% pass rate for the "new" students"? It turns out it's about a 35% pass rate. Though I don't know what the variability is in pass rates from year to year so it's a pretty meaningless calculation.

The real win is we are getting more people to TRY. Not everyone has to succeed, but it's sad that everyone gets a chance to play basketball in school and we feel that is somehow a relevant experience but we cringe at throwing a little money at giving more kids a chance to experience computer programming. I mean, how do you even know you have an interest if you are never exposed?

Re:Inconceivable! (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about 5 months ago | (#47540931)

"Democrats are the ones who run collage education for a very long time. And if anything, it proves the Republican ran college board to be right. "

jfc

Re:Inconceivable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539509)

Good job missing the point.

Why not? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539555)

They are talking about placement exams - that's all.

And why not encourage some poor black kid to go into CS instead of the NBA or HipHop lottery? I've worked with those kids and pretty much all of them think basketball or music is their way out. What a fucking society we have! You know, human capital is just that, capital. throwing away some bright kid or not encouraging someone with brains is just lunacy.

My wife loved theater. She really wanted to be an actress.

She went into medical because she realized she needed a job.

Guess what?

Any practice she moves to, she is requested - she boosts medical practices business.

Does she "love" what she does? Nope. She does love some of her patients - especially her little old people.

She talks wistfully about being an actress and the theater, but she is a professional.

In other words, this "do only what you like for a living" is bullshit.

Being passionate about your work is bullshit started by people who wanted people dumb enough to waste their entire lives at work.

No one - EVER - on their death bad said, "Fuck! I wish I spent more time at work!"

Employers who demand people who are passionate about their work just want to work you to death - get more work out of you than they paid for with wages.

Passion? That's for family and your partner.

If you are in fact passionate about your work, then fine. But do not expect everyone to share that.

Many of us had to "sell out" in order to make a living. If you are going to discount me because I got into CS to get work, then support a law that states that everyone gets the same pay and if as an artist - my passion - I cannot work, I get paid by the tax dollars to spare you my non-passionate work.

Otherwise, I WILL get the job done, on time, and WAD - my passions are non of your business.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539617)

In other words, this "do only what you like for a living" is bullshit.

People who are not passionate tend to be mediocre or worse.

No one - EVER - on their death bad said, "Fuck! I wish I spent more time at work!"

Your logic is, "I don't like doing something 100% of the time, so I'm not passionate about it." Ridiculous.

Re:Why not? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539653)

People who are not passionate tend to be mediocre or worse.

Bullshit. People who do well regardless of their passions are called professionals. I had a LOT of passion about programming and tech but the industry killed it. The last nail in the coffin was when I trained a "more qualified" H1-b about "what those asterisks mean in C programming".

My wife has no passions about healthcare but yet, she is loved by her patients and the managing partners love her.

Your logic is, "I don't like doing something 100% of the time, so I'm not passionate about it." Ridiculous.

This is not MY logic, that is employer's logic.

And yes, it IS ridiculous!

Re:Why not? (3, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | about 5 months ago | (#47539871)

The last nail in the coffin was when I trained a "more qualified" H1-b about "what those asterisks mean in C programming".

He was just asking for a few pointers.

Re:Why not? (2)

aeschinesthesocratic (1359449) | about 5 months ago | (#47540127)

Am I the only one who caught that dereference?

Re:Why not? (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 5 months ago | (#47540213)

I don't know. I was busy looking at the bottom of the page for the footnote to the asterisk.

Re:Why not? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 5 months ago | (#47541231)

He was just asking for a few pointers.

And yet only NULL references were returned.

Re:Why not? (1)

the phantom (107624) | about 5 months ago | (#47540901)

People who are not passionate tend to be mediocre or worse.

Bullshit. People who do well regardless of their passions are called professionals. I had a LOT of passion about programming and tech but the industry killed it. The last nail in the coffin was when I trained a "more qualified" H1-b about "what those asterisks mean in C programming".

This doesn't negate the OP's point. He was talking about tendencies (as in statistical trends), not specifics. Neither you nor he provided any data at all, but it is certainly plausible that people who aren't passionate about something will, on average, perform less well than people who are passionate. Your anecdote neither convinces me that you are better than mediocre (you may very well be amazing; or maybe you were at some point but now suffer from burnout; or maybe you are mediocre and always have been---I have no clue), nor convinces me that passion and skill are entirely uncorrelated (though the causal relation could go either way---I could easily be convinced that people are passionate about the things they are good at, rather than the other way around).

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541785)

Bullshit. People who do well regardless of their passions are called professionals.

Bullshit. Most professionals without passion are mediocre.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47542193)

Bullshit. People who do well regardless of their passions are called professionals. I had a LOT of passion about programming and tech but the industry killed it. The last nail in the coffin was when I trained a "more qualified" H1-b about "what those asterisks mean in C programming".

Thanks for the integrity for training him him/her btw, and helping people like me with CS degrees ( who do know what the * mean s and a lot more..) from getting even a coffee filler job to serve this H1-B person. I appreciate that. Don't see why you'd even post something like that. You probably enjoy the superiority complex u have over people like me because maybe u were a better programmer than me, and u feel I don't deserve opportunities, hence jobs for the usurpers on their H! Bs'.

Re:Why not? (1)

plopez (54068) | about 5 months ago | (#47539873)

mediocre is still good enough for most companies

Re:Why not? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47540851)

Actually, in CS it is not. It costs huge amounts of money. The problem is that most companies do not have people that actually understand what is going on.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539859)

No one - EVER - on their death bad said, "Fuck! I wish I spent more time at work!"

How many people on their deathbed did you survey?

Re:Why not? (1)

Aphadon (3402087) | about 5 months ago | (#47540823)

Sorry, I respect your opinion, but I wholeheartedly disagree.

I've always had a passion programming and for video games. All my life people have been telling me to just get a normal job and not waste time on games, that it's childish and foolish, and that I should get real and go work for a bank or something like everyone else. Well, I had to pass up on a lot of opportunities along the way, but today I'm a professional games developer working for a successful games company, and loving every minute of it.

Sure I might have made more money if I didn't go into gaming, and indeed I've had offers from banks for double my salary, but money is not what's important. As long as you have enough to care for yourself and your family, then happiness means far more. And since we spend a large part of our adult lives at work, that also means enjoying your work, even if your pocket is a little lighter than it might have been otherwise. Deciding to follow my passion as a career is the best choice I've ever made and I haven't regretted it for a second.

Re:Why not? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47540843)

As somebody with quite a bit of experience teaching CS, I call that bullshit. Maybe becoming an MD has gotten so easy you can do it with aptitude and dedication only, but being any good in the CS fields requires passion in addition. Those that do not have that passion will become the "engineers" that create messes so expensive to clean up, their overall productivity is hugely negative and not employing them safes you a lot of money. Of course there are a lot of those cretins in the industry, but one reason for all this off-shoring is that management realizes that can hire an incompetent cretin somewhere else in the world far cheaper than domestically.

Re:Inconceivable! (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 5 months ago | (#47539651)

Not only does the data not support your conclusions, it does not even support your premise.

Re:Inconceivable! (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47539729)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Inconceivable! (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47540807)

Well, next step is obviously to remove any aptitude and performance requirements at all and give everybody a degree. No more CS grads shortage. Of course, any Indian IIT CS bachelor will wipe the floor with those "graduates" as IIT has a really, really hard selection process.

Re:Inconceivable! (1)

drolli (522659) | about 5 months ago | (#47541761)

that's too simple. what they found out is that in the moment when the students enroll things are already settled. Tell your 7 year old daughter that she sucks at math but that it's not bad because she is a girl and dont give her technical toys and she will make decisions in choosing hobbies and interests in school based on that. i have seen many attempts at fixing gender imbalance and these programs usually take a half hearted approach at fixing some symptoms of the problem that we as a society still have gender issues deep in the early childhood and childhood education.

Re:Inconceivable! (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 5 months ago | (#47541775)

>So they've found that encouraging students to take CS courses based on their skin color or genitals is less effective than encouraging students who have an interest or aptitude for the subject? Gee, I never would have guessed that result.

Yes, this is well known.

What traditionally happens is that teachers are very concerned with their pass rate, so they filter kids out of their class that they think won't pass the AP test.

I worked for a College Board program for four years designed to address this problem, as a lot of the people getting filtered out might very well pass anyway, and therefore be denied an opportunity for an advanced class and college credits for no other reason than the teacher's ego.

So they stopped talking about pass rates entirely, and heavily discourage teachers from using the term, instead quantifying teacher success based on *numbers of students who pass* instead. So even if little Timmy only has a 50% chance to pass, it would still encourage the teacher to let him try, since the expected value of letting Timmy stay in the class is better than if the teacher filtered him out.

Unfortunately, the fucking article perpetuates the old model of thinking, which is to emphasize the pass rate over the actual number of kids passing the AP test, and demonstrating that they have a freshman in college-ish level of understanding of the subject.

An in other news ... (0)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 5 months ago | (#47539361)

/sarcasm "People graduate from college. News at 11."

Who modded you up? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539497)

People take advanced placement exams and pass them. News right now. You fail reading comprehension and comedic attempt.

Seriously, go read it again, and use Google to look up the hard words.

Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Exam

its a test, not a degree program.

Advanced Placement Tests aren't very representativ (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 5 months ago | (#47539913)

(First of all, to reply to the parent article, the test isn't for people graduating from college, it's for people in high school who will get to use the results to place out of courses in college. In my case that meant I could start more advanced calculus classes a year early, which was really useful, and got some extra credits for biology that didn't affect anything but probably looked good, and if I'd been at a college where tuition prices were by the course instead of the semester, it would have probably saved me some money.)

So it's nice that 39,000 students had enough high-level CS courses in high school that they were able to take the test, but that's a pretty small fraction of the number of kids entering college, even just in the STEM fields, and it's also limited to those high schools that had a good enough CS program to make it worth taking the test, so the statistics are probably not all that representative*.

(*And the fact that I misspelled "representative" in the title doesn't mean I'm bad at English; I ran out of characters in the title box. :-)

Re:Advanced Placement Tests aren't very representa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540819)

For future reference, the abbreviation "AP Tests" would have been perfectly well understood (and is even trademarked!).

Hedging bets (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539383)

This is what I see, big tech firms hedging against H1-b backlash.

How to get cheap tech labor at home? Increase supply.

How to do that? Get them in high school. That's how McDonald's gets their help.

Education - especially primary education - isn't about vocational training. It's about having an educated electorate. Sorry, training kids to be code monkeys isn't an education.

Science, history, writing, reading, and civics are what's important.

Civics is what we should bring back to schools. If we had decent civics training in high school, much of the BS that our leaders are pulling on us wouldn't happen.

And science. If we had decent science training, some of these con artists who bilk people out of their money to fight against evolution would have a smaller audience. And we wouldn't be wasting millions of tax payer money fighting people who want to "teach the controversy" (teach Creationism and other myths as science) in schools

Computer science should be treated like engineering: left for post secondary education.

Re:Hedging bets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540743)

I support the H1-b program, because I work place can not find qualifed c or c++ or c# and java developers.

Re:Hedging bets (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about 5 months ago | (#47540939)

or people who speak English, apparently.

Re:Hedging bets (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47540873)

I completely agree that CS should be treated like engineering, because, when done right, it is engineering. Anything else just produces incompetent people that have no real skills. Many "programmers" actually have negative productivity, because what they create is so bad. And many programmers are functionally illiterate, with inability to both write reasonable documentation and inability to learn something new from a book. Any good engineer can do these things. Yet for one of the most critical technological fields today, we basically ran with mediocre technicians instead of actual engineers that have a clue about their field.

I also find your other points compelling.

Special gift from the China (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539407)

http://www.pensu.com

You know what really grinds my gears? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539423)

That some school districts pay for the AP test but others do not.

Minimum wage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539439)

Is it just me or does it seem like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates (for whatever reason) is trying to create a new class of minimum wage programmers?

So much focus on getting more and more people into the field, especially if they're a woman or brown.

Re:Minimum wage (1)

plover (150551) | about 5 months ago | (#47539667)

It seems to me they're trying to offer a career path to a group of people who could use additional options.

If we assume that attributes that make for good programmers (design skills, intelligence, etc) are equally distributed, there are a lot of really smart people (that could become programmers) out there that have something blocking their opportunities.

Things like bias, culture, and upbringing play a huge role. Earlier this year my step-niece (age 21, working on her bachelor's degree) was told "you're far too pretty for all this school, you should just find a nice man and marry him." These exact words came out of her grandmother's mouth. That's what these kids grow up with.

I firmly believe that part of the reason my son has been so successful is that we never expected anything less from him. He knew from kindergarten onwards that college was simply the next school after high school. His decision was "where", not "if". That's far from true in a lot of families or for a lot of kids.

Part of what Gates and Zuckerberg are trying to do is get the message out to these kids. If they don't hear from someone who says "you can certainly do this", they might never try.

Re:Minimum wage (-1, Flamebait)

plopez (54068) | about 5 months ago | (#47539887)

Yep. Esp. when women have salaries about 2/3 of white men.

Re:Minimum wage (2)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 5 months ago | (#47540725)

Citation Please.

[John]

Re:Minimum wage (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47540889)

As a plain, fact-ignoring statistic, yes. Women and men that actively follow comparable career paths have the same salaries. Of course, if you, say, take a 2 year timeout for having kids, that negatively affects your salary and your skills. But gender gap in pay in CS is a myth, which becomes obvious as soon as you look at the actual data. The Issue is that many women chose to offer less value to employers. And that is quite fine and, I expect, what they consider is the best option. It does come with a price though.

Re:Minimum wage (2)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 5 months ago | (#47541663)

Gender gap anywhere is a myth unless you fail to control for variables (such as you mentioned) or add in all kinds of extras to force it.

Re:Minimum wage (2)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 5 months ago | (#47541661)

"especially if they're a woman or brown" because they are very afraid of being sued for not hiring every one of those that walks through the door because so few are walking through the door. you know, you are discriminating because only 25% of your workforce is x when in society the ratio is 50%. Never mind that they aren't hiring from the general population, they are hiring from those that apply. The problem is that lawyers are stupid and expensive.

Pass rates for women and blacks? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539447)

What is the pass rate for women and blacks ? Or doesn't those numbers fit into your political correct world view ?

Re:Pass rates for women and blacks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539691)

What is the pass rate for women and blacks ? Or doesn't those numbers fit into your political correct world view ?

If you're going to be that racist, you coward, why don't you just say "niggers" and be done with it? Or do you have trouble recognizing you're causing the problem? The pass rate doesn't matter. How many are trying to improve themselves, now that matters a lot.

Re:Pass rates for women and blacks? (2)

poity (465672) | about 5 months ago | (#47539979)

You can already see some politically incorrect numbers.

AP CS student demographics from the first link in the summary.

- 31.4% Asian
- 3.8% Black
- 8.4% Hispanic
- 0.3% Native American
- 50.5% non-Hispanic White

Compare to current US demographics from the Census Bureau
http://quickfacts.census.gov/q... [census.gov]

- 5.3% Asian
- 13.2% Black
- 17.1% Hispanic
- 1.2% Native American
- 62.6% non-Hispanic White

It looks like every race except Asian is under-represented.
Is this evidence of systemic oppression by USA's Asian-American overlords?
Are White people so hateful they'd rather cut themselves to spite the Black and Brown people?

Re:Pass rates for women and blacks? (2)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 5 months ago | (#47541665)

According to most of the political correct types, yes, Whitey is that bad.

Theodp = Worst Submitter Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539469)

Why does every theodp submission gets stuffed with extraneous links, irrelevant asides, and his unwanted opinions? There is barely a summary of the actual story here.

  Please ban theodp submissions in the future for being so piss poor. Thanks. This is an ontopic meta comment.

Re:Theodp = Worst Submitter Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539875)

I agree, they are kind of stressful to read. Hugh Pickens made similar ones, but apparently he has not been around for a while.

Re:Theodp = Worst Submitter Ever (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 5 months ago | (#47541669)

or Hugh Pickens = theodp

Re:Theodp = Worst Submitter Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541947)

It's possible.

underserved minorities = no asians (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539519)

I love this bigotry and racism exposed by some of these diversity causes. Why the fuck are Asians excluded from underserved minority group? Because we actually worked harder and longer to be considered overserved according to these nitwits? We certainly were not privileged, but we did something about it . Now we are being punished for our success because somehow it upset some magical racial balance formula.

This is racism and it must be stopped now. There should be equality for all, it is as simple as that.

Re:underserved minorities = no asians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539813)

Why the fuck are Asians excluded from underserved minority group?

Because in the context of AP computer science, Asians are not underserved.

Re:underserved minorities = no asians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540081)

bullshit

AP does not prevent participation based on race

you pays your money you takes the test and you get your score

the big issue is that asians are discriminated against in scholarships for minorities even though the popikation is kess than half that of the hispanics or african americans. That's OR not AND.

Re:underserved minorities = no asians (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540173)

Look I'll explain this out to you.

Asians are a certain percentage of the population. If every thing is equal then the percentage of Asian students in AP computer science should match the Gerald population. Things aren't equal and Asians are over represented in AP computer science.

That is why Asians are not undeserved minorities in the context of computer science.

Re: underserved minorities = no asians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540635)

But doesn't having over-represented races prove the point that you don't need affirmative action. AA ends up being a crutch to try and fix something that's actually a cultural problem (not an oppression problem). AA also seems to undually punish minorities like Asians, and that will end up punishing them culturally speaking.

Re: underserved minorities = no asians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540995)

But doesn't having over-represented races prove the point that you don't need affirmative action.

Exactly right! That's why Asians and Asians alone do not qualify as underserved minorities and are not afforded protections under affirmative action in the context of AP computer science.

By contrast, other minorities are under represented and are afforded protections and special privileges.

Re: underserved minorities = no asians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541323)

You added words to my sentence in your mind. You read what I wrote as, "...you don't need affirmative action for Asians" when what I said was "you don't need affirmative action." Period.

Those "protections" and "special privileges" are only going to destroy them. You think you would be helping them, but I promise you that you will end up underserving them.

Re:underserved minorities = no asians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540261)

move to a country that did grow big on slavery and did not have apartheid system till late 1960ties - maybe that will help.
You stay in US because with all their imperfections they still let you earn a good buck. Other than that you can enjoy waving a flag on different occasions like 9/11 and some such. What is there to complain?

Re:underserved minorities = no asians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541105)

I'm just curious if this exact same argument which has been shouted down when coming from people with white skin is suddenly politically correct because the arguer is Asian?

The agenda of affirmative action is fundamentally racist and the perversion of incentives it creates are absurd. Why is it a societal imperative that prosperity is equally represented based on skin color(of all the arbitrary attributes)? You want to help poor disadvantaged people? Then help poor disadvantaged people! Trying to identify this group based on fictitious racial boundaries is a system engineered from laziness and political expediency. Not one of enlightened appreciation for social justice. Even worse, it propagates divisive racial identity delusions.

We're a nation of people not races, so when will we start acting like it?

Target audience is children(appropriate for the topic of discussion) but the moral is equally applicable:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdLPe7XjdKc

No Girls, Blacks, or Hispanics Take AP Computer Sc (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539521)

I googled for "ap computer science" and this came up

No Girls, Blacks, or Hispanics Take AP Computer Science Exam in Some States [edweek.org]

Re:No Girls, Blacks, or Hispanics Take AP Computer (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 5 months ago | (#47539547)

Yeah, but how many male kindergarten teachers are in those districts, and how many boys in home ec?

Now excuse me, I'm a busy man. I'm off on a photo-shoot as the top payed model in the world.

Re:No Girls, Blacks, or Hispanics Take AP Computer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539633)

Women are predominantly teachers, especially of kindergarten classes.

http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.pdf

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2011 Current Population Survey, men teachers make up only 18.3 percent of elementary and middle school teachers and 2.3 percent of preschool and kindergarten instructors—a dip from the 2007 prerecession proportions of 19.1 percent in grades 1 to 8 and 2.7 percent in preschool and kindergarten.

Apparently, this is okay, because more women means more equal according to feminism.

Re:No Girls, Blacks, or Hispanics Take AP Computer (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 5 months ago | (#47539671)

I was kind of assuming that people knew all the cited examples were skewed in favor of women. I specifically put in models as an example to counter the argument that these are not highly paid positions. So since we're ruining the humor by explaining this, we might as well go all the way and cite Forbes [forbes.com] for some model examples.

Re:No Girls, Blacks, or Hispanics Take AP Computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539675)

I've taught kindergarten. The kids only flocked to me after we worked out the "you are delicious, if you misbehave I will cook you and make gravy" part of the relationship.

Re:No Girls, Blacks, or Hispanics Take AP Computer (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 5 months ago | (#47539657)

Where I went to school every student takes Home Ec.

Oy gevalt, you need more diversity! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539605)

Diversity is good, diversity is great, diversity is our strength! We need more diversity because it's good to make everyone look the same with golden brown skin, and when everyone is the same, when white people are gone, racism will finally be killed! This needs to happen to fulfill the prophecy... er I mean it needs to happen because diversity is good, diversity is great, diversity is our strength!

Never mind that we chosen people won't race mix with you, or will be ruling over you with an iron fist. Er, did I just say this is front of the goyim? Oy vey!

Just focus on the diversity! Diversity is good! Diversity is our strength! DIVERSITY! DIVERSITY! DIEVERSITY! DIEVERSITY! DIEVERSITY!

Better to see women and minorities working in tech (0)

jumpinjackalope (3755567) | about 5 months ago | (#47539677)

jobs vs. living in poverty without them. I guess I'm the odd man out here in applauding their efforts to increase enrollments of women and minorities. Many of them don't have the familial and social supports in place to succeed in college. They aren't encouraged to go in a lot of cases, or maybe have dependents to support and have no funds to increase their lot in life. So what if the AP CS pass rates decreased. Enrollment and subsequent total number of students passing increased. Good on them, achieving a higher status in life through hard work and a newly available opportunity.

Re:Better to see women and minorities working in t (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47539993)

... women and minorities. Many of them don't have the familial and social supports in place to succeed in college.

Seriously? Women don't have supports in place to succeed in college? I guess that explains why women are 33% more likely than men to earn college degrees [cnsnews.com] .

I agree that's probably true for many minorities—but I've always felt that's more of a social problem. I think it would be a lot more helpful if these programs focused on poor neighborhoods than on specific races. For example, just because there are lots of chinese in tech, that doesn't mean that a chinese kid that grew up in a poor household in Oakland's chinatown isn't just as disadvantaged as a black or latino kid in another poor neighborhood. And it certainly doesn't mean he's less disadvantaged than a black or latino kid from an upper-middle-class neighborhood!

No surprises here (2)

AuMatar (183847) | about 5 months ago | (#47539747)

You tell teachers they'll be paid if more people pass a test. So they encourage more of their students to take it. Many of those aren't ready, they're just hoping they'll pass for a payout. So the pass rate goes down, as the majority of additional takers weren't capable. Yup, statistics work.

Re:No surprises here (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 5 months ago | (#47539911)

You failed... 40,000 test takers. 8,000 of them were new. extra 7% fail rate. Ahem. More people passed than before. The new students more than make up for the increased fail rate.

But you didn't even look did you? You had your conclusion all ready to go, why bother looking to see if it was correct?

Re:No surprises here (1)

wmansir (566746) | about 5 months ago | (#47540119)

Really all 40k of them are "new students". This is a different group of kids, presumably taking a different test, perhaps with different prep methods, so it's not so easy to isolate the effects of the extra 8K students. If we were able to isolate the "new students" from the core 32K that would have taken the test anyway, and assume the core group would have gotten the same 68% pass rate we could estimate that the new group had around a 33% pass rate.

33% is a pretty poor pass rate, but on the other hand that represents 2600 students who passed that may not have taken the test at all. And taking the test is usually a no risk proposition as reporting the score is generally voluntary for college applications and many will be taking them after they have already been accepted to a school.

That said there is some risk to failing. The first is the hard to quantify effect on motivation to continue in the field. This kind of discouragement can negatively affect some, though it also can help guide students into a field that may be a better fit for them. Also, some high schools record AP scores in the student's transcript, and if a student does poorly on the exam it can be made exponentially worse if the admission board notices they did well in the AP class itself since it calls into question how rigorous the school's course work/grading system is.

Re:No surprises here (1)

fermion (181285) | about 5 months ago | (#47540093)

The college board is desperate for relevancy. Since 1994 the SAT has changed several times after 50 years of stability to make it more attractive to increasingly critical urban population and schools. It was no longer good enough to see which students matched the standards of east coast prep schools, students had to be characterized based on a more diverse standard. It may have been wrong, but there was simply not enough money to be made catering to the east coast universities looking to rank the east coast preparatory graduates. They are now trying to get funding through the AP exams. The thing you have to know is there are many federal grants that will fund low income students who want to take the AP Exam, money that goes directly to the that the College Board. So, unlike the 20th century when only the best of the best took the AP Exam. There is not enough money in it. There are not people profiting at all levels on students taking the AP exam. Universities, often private, often the best in the area, are training teachers to teach AP classes, mostly paid by federal grants or local tax dollars, a single class generating $10-20 thousand dollars for the university and college board, and there are often dozens of classes offered over the summer. There is the cost of AP books published by the CB as well as past tests which are not free. The College Board is also free to punish or reward districts with awards and direct monetary compensation to various leaders, and these punishments come down to the school level. There are cases where district leaders have reprimanded people at the school level when the leaders did not get their expected rewards. I am not judging what is going on right now. All I am saying is that AP classes are no longer used to filter the best students from the best classes. AP classes are now a way to introduce college level material to interested students. Students who do not want to be in these classes are generally not. Instead of filtering by ability, the filter is a desire to learn. This, of course, means that many students are not able to do the work and get frustrated. Most are not going to do well on the test. But if the class is well taught, these kids will be more ready for college, I would say even more so than a dual credit class. The added benefit is that there is little grade inflation on the test. Students are allowed to fail, then given some information to reflect on that failure. As anyone who has been to college knows this is a critical skill. With the need for every student to graduate, even if they have never attended a class, the AP exam is one of the only way to provide that feedback to college bound students. It is unfortunate, but too many 18 year old adults still think that running home crying to mammy and daddy is a reasonable way to pass a class. The AP test does not finely rank students like so many other test do, and rewards students for their ability to find the questions they know best, and completely those to get enough points to meet their desired goal.

Re:No surprises here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540869)

My high school didn't have AP biology, but one student took the test anyways. That's when the honors biology teacher found out that there was a state law that paid a bonus to teachers for each student of theirs that got a 4 or 5 on an AP exam and she was offended. Saying that it was already a privileged to be teaching the honors students in the first place, she started a mini campaign to get teachers to give the bonus to the school.

Re:No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540569)

Please, please don't say that. Teachers absolutely are not in a position to encourage students to take tests. Administrators are the ones that control that process completely, as dictated by state legislature, and give orders about what the teachers must or must not do. Teachers have the least amount of control over what they teach, how they teach it, and what tests they can give.

The companies that develop tests lobby lawmakers directly, and administrators secondarily, and that's how these testing regimens get approved and adopted. At no point are teachers ever consulted. This is a strictly corporate/financial affair, and any extra financial incentive for giving a test goes straight to the administrators only.

Please trust me on this, teachers never receive any kind of financial incentives at all. An administrator would sooner kill himself than let one precious penny go to a teacher, or toward school supplies, or to keep an arts or music class available.

Source: Both parents are public high school teachers with 60 years combined experience.

Re:No surprises here (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 5 months ago | (#47541687)

Teachers absolutely are in a position to encourage students to take an optional, privately administered test. They talk to their students every day.

I was so wrong... (1)

Pro923 (1447307) | about 5 months ago | (#47539867)

About this field... I thought that my affinity and ability for computers and programming at a young age was a gift and that I was special for it. I thought that since I understood something and was fascinated by it, that I would be highly sought after, well paid and appreciated. It's so disappointing to see how we've turned this whole thing into something that anyone can do. We've done so by bringing the quality down to the level that it can be achieved by anyone. The tools, methods and process that has become the programming industry has turned people like me into waste products. In fact, I'm worse than a lot of people at the job. Of course, if you gave us both some idea and said to go off and "create it" in our own way, I would singlehandedly crush any team (of any size) - as I'm sure a lot of others like me would too. The whole thing sucks. The fact that we're artificially modifying the base of workers in this field can only mean that it can be done by anyone - we've dumbed it down to that level. Oh, and thanks for also taking my gift and turning it into nothing so that I can be underpaid and struggle to live like an average shithead.

Re:I was so wrong... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#47540327)

I disagree with lots and lots of what you said, but rather than arguing I'd prefer to just offer some advice.

If CS / IT / software-development isn't working out the way you hoped, is it perhaps time to switch fields? There are so many livings most persons can make: law, medicine (especially nursing which doesn't require 12 years of preparation), business administration, sales, marketing, etc.

Or if you'd rather work with your hands, you can maybe do technical college at night to prepare for a trade (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, car repair, etc.) You'd probably take a big income hit at first, but it sounds like you're already not raking in the money you expected with your current work anyway.

Another possibility is to stay with computers, but start your own business doing repair, consulting, freelance software development, etc. That might ease some of your frustrations stemming from unappreciative bosses, coworkers, office politics, etc.

And there's kind of a meta-point I'd like to make. It's not a normal /. thing, but it's worth mentioning because I suspect it's true and relevant. You sound unhappy with life in general. It sounds like you're blaming your circumstances, but your complaints are so broad that I suspect you're more deeply unhappy than just with the issues you mentioned. I'm suspect that what the Christians say about Jesus is true. I recommend looking into that carefully. You may find that if your life has actual purpose, your concerns about IT work fade into the background.

Re:I was so wrong... (1)

Pro923 (1447307) | about 5 months ago | (#47540551)

well there's some truth to what you say - I've realized that as well. it's quite clairvoyant of you to figure that from the small post. I think most of it stems from the disappointment in my career though. I've had to grow and watch some of my friends become quite successful (in other fields), despite not really having done anything spectacularly clever, or having had the type of 'gift' that I had - being able to understand and work with such complexity (as I suspect most of the people here do - I'm not saying I'm any better than the rest of us here - it's a bright bunch). I agree with what you say about switching careers - I've thought about it often, though it's just not that simple. Firstly, it feels like giving up. I could get over that if it could lead to some sort of success though. Secondly, I'm in my mid 40s - and have lots of responsibility - big mortgage, teenish kids, needy wife, etc - life isn't really going to give me the time to switch things up. I do actually make 150ish, but that isn't big money around here, my wife doesn't make much, and with the cost of living we still live check to check. That said, if I were to somehow stumble on a chunk of cash that could support me for 6 months or so, I'd love to figure out something else to do. What bothers me still though, is that this system that we're involved in - would have someone who is capable of so much be looking to do something more rewarding. And we wonder why people aren't seeking STEM careers? The best and brightest are seeking other paths... I'm the dope that was too stubborn to not do so. The idea that we put trades, marketing, sales and such in the same category as our scientists is very frustrating to me. More to the topic of the article, we should be seeking out those gifted for STEM and finding ways to make that a desirable career - not 'training' people who aren't even interested, based on their gender or race. I do feel like I've wasted 20 years, but it's hard to give up on it. Once I hit the lottery, I'll start my own company and do things my way. Until then, I don't see any other way to do right by my kids except to stay the path, keep wasting my time and basically forfeit my happiness.

Re:I was so wrong... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#47540803)

Until then, I don't see any other way to do right by my kids except to stay the path, keep wasting my time and basically forfeit my happiness.

Sorry things seem to hopeless. That was actually my point about looking into Christianity though. If you do, and if you decide it's likely-enough true that you're willing to become a Christian, you might find yourself happy regardless of what job you have.

Re:I was so wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540793)

You are a luddite, so no trophy for you!

Re:I was so wrong... (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 5 months ago | (#47540903)

It is not something everyone can do. Some companies wise up and the usual underperformers do not have any reasonable job-perspective except becoming managers. Most will not manage that either. What you need to find is an employer that understands CS worker productivity.

The data does not mean what you think it means (1)

mattwarden (699984) | about 5 months ago | (#47540021)

1) The stats are only considering the number of subpop test takers out of all test takers. It does not say anything about those taking the course itself, as the test is often optional, and it certainly says nothing about the relative popularity of CS with the subpop.
2) Smaller schools will never offer AP CS courses. Never. The data is incredibly noisy as a result, and entire states might have zero participation from a given subpop mostly as a result of limited availability.

For example, I could get the increase celebrated in this story just by pushing teachers to require all AP CS students take the test.

Welcome mediocres (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540167)

I grew in a society where ppl were supposed to be equal and education was the same for all kids. Most of them never became anything in life. Most ended up robbing or murdering people. Yes my neighborhood was crap. I in return was bright from the very beginning along with some others but then I speak about myself. Now I am pretty sure my chances were really reduced just to try to educate what can't be educated anyways and that for society I would have being better and would have provided a lot of development. I studied, I really broke my ass to get there. Two careers actually. Now problem turned out to be, I feel my brain was wasted by not receiving a better education, while a load of money was wasted into the plant that was not going to grow anyways. Sort like not putting enough water into a seed to put it into a stone expecting it to grow. When I see this things it makes my blood boil in anger as it is quite discriminating too. Selection is done based on skin color or gender. Very discriminating. Nothing, we came out from a discriminating society towards a discriminating society in the other way around. So basically we ended up being the same shit. Is like ohh yeah let's give a help to this poor black kids and this girls that had no chance. Fuck you. If you don't want to be discriminative all you have to do is simple. Not discriminate and that puts away skin color and gender. Yet more is discriminative with them as assumes they can't get it on their own ways.

Re:Welcome mediocres (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540827)

Deep down you know and think Republicans and Democrats two sides of the same coin and you will be right, you have now where to go, and we laugh at you for it.

The really fun part (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47540189)

... is figuring out how many students failed :D

39,393 tests total with 39.2% failure yields 15,442.056 people who didn't pass. The >.1 person there obviously represents a semi-sentient walkman.

Teachers (1)

Niris (1443675) | about 5 months ago | (#47540233)

Part of this issue is because the teachers are under qualified for teaching AP comp sci courses. I took AP comp sci in high school back in 2006 and failed it with flying colors (as did every single person in the course), but that's because they made us take the A and B exams but only prepared us for the A exam. Looking back on it, we should have been better prepared, but the teacher was learning the material as we went along, and he simply didn't hit data structures like trees (huge on the exam) or really much OOP.

ap cs tests a joke (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | about 5 months ago | (#47540403)

Ap cs is a joke. It's a programming test you hand write. If the person misreads your handwriting or is just wrong about their understanding of the language you get it wrong. And nobody is there to prove otherwise. Oh yeah, the test is 120 bucks to have what is clearly a non professional grade it. How do I know this? Because I knew every answer on the test, finished early, then got a 3. I had to argue for credit the intro to cs course I'm college, then complained that the data structures class was too easy and too slow. I then proceeded to graduate with a 3.65 gpa and have programmed better than almost everyone I've encountered.

When AP has transparency in their grading I'll take them more seriously. Until then, they are a sham company enjoying their lucrative monopoly in the education testing market.

Re:ap cs tests a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541079)

If you knew every answer, then you obviously did not write it down legibly.

"And knowing is half the battle." [youtube.com]

6.8% decrease? (1)

nmoore (22729) | about 5 months ago | (#47540427)

Isn't 67.6% to 60.8% a decrease of 10% (6.8 percentage points)?

Unnecessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541349)

AP CS can be detrimental for students. You can come in as a freshman and be stuck with coursework that's intended more for sophomores. You don't want to do that. Let me be blunt about this. I've been a programmer from around age 12 (when I received my first paycheck) until now, age 39. The theory I learned in class is only very slightly useful to me, and I only need to have dim knowledge of it so I can refresh my memory if needed. I've never needed to quickly recall a single thing I learned in my engineering school classes. (*) On the other hand, I use the programming knowledge I picked up outside of my classes all the time.

My advice is don't put too much pressure on yourself at school by worrying about AP CS. It's not that important what you learn in class, and if you wind up putting too much pressure on yourself there will be no long term benefit whatsoever. Work on programming outside of class as much as possible. If your high school offers AP CS, take it. Just don't skip the class or classes the AP test places you out of.

(*) If you're interviewing at Google, they want to you to brush up on all of that essentially useless except in very limited circumstances knowledge. If you don't you blow the interview. I simply don't care about this useless crap, and I'm too good of a programmer to need to study for a programming interview. Maybe Google will one day start hiring the best programmers, and stop caring about useless theory.

Not much news (1)

Coupon11 (3766751) | about 5 months ago | (#47541365)

AP scores fluctuate a lot from year to year as they change the test. 6.8% isn't all too big of a change, and that is too be expected when you add more people that may not be the cream of the crop. On another point, my high school doesn't offer AP Computer Science yet, mainly because there isn't a very big demand for it. I don't really understand why people are angry that women aren't taking the test as much. If I was to ask the girls in my school if they were to take it, a very large portion, much larger than the guys, would say no. Very few girls I know are interested in it. Not sexist, just the way people's interest are.

The only question you need! (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 5 months ago | (#47541369)

Write a full RTOS in C with support for logging and debugging in the course of 4 months. If you can do that you pass, other wise you fail and you aren't a programmer, you're a code hacker.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47541427)

From the article:

"Because these underserved groups enrolled at a higher rate of growth than the average, their ratio relative to asian/white males also grew. Since last year, the ratio of females in AP Computer Science to males grew 8 percent (from 18% to 20%). The ratio of African American students to grew 8 percent (from 3.7% to 4%). The ratio of Hispanic students grew 10 percent (from 8% to 9%)."

So... 18.7% to 20% becomes 18% to 20%; 3.56% to 3.75% becomes 3.7% to 4%; and 7.88% to 8.43% becomes 8% to 9%.

But 2% (really 1.3%), 0.3% (really 0.2%), and 1% (really 0.6%) aren't sexy enough (and don't fit with our 'pat ourselves on the back' mentality); so...
    18% to 20% becomes an 8% increase over 18%, 3.7% to 4% becomes an 8% increase over 3.7%, and 8% to 9% becomes a 10% increase over 8%.

Now look at the info-graphics...
    First, the 'Fastest Growing AP Course' graph:
        Steady participation from 2003 to 2011, then what appears to be a steady climb from 2011 to 2014.
        Since the Code.org video launch was in 2013, you might expect a large increase from 2013 to 2014 instead of the continuing trend.

        So the Code.org effect was a continuation of the same trend seen in the previous 3 years?

    Second, the 'Growth in Participation by Underrepresented Groups' graph:
        Another 'pat ourselves on the back' piece that show the *number* of participants in underrepresented groups grew by roughly 35% across the board.

        Female participation up 35% (yea!), but the male/female ratio still around 80/20 (as it's been since 2010).
        Black/African American participation up 35% (yea!), but the ratios over the last several years: 4.2%, 4.0%, 3.9%, 3.5%, and 3.7%.
        Hispanic participation up 35% (yea!), and the rations of the last several years: 7.4%, 8.0%, 7.5%, 7.9%, and 8.4%.

        The ratios seem to show stagnation, a somewhat steady decrease, and a somewhat steady increase.
        Translate to: just as underrepresented, even more underrepresented, slightly less underrepresented.

This amazingly short 'article' seems to be the thing a project manager would put together to try to keep their project from being cut.
We go from 'if you make a video, they will come' to 'everything still appears to be status quo.'

But heck, if it puts more workers into the job pool we've shifted the supply/demand curve - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

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